Black Hill Conservation Park

Where is it?: The park is in the north-eastern foothills at Athelstone and includes the extended Athelstone Native Wildflower Garden. Black Hill is bound in the north by the valley of the River Torrens and Gorge Road. To the south it is separated from Morialta Conservation Park by Fifth Creek and Montacute Road. The park is  accessible by public transport – Bus Route 176 (City to Athelstone) or any O-Bahn bus to the Paradise Interchange and then Route 579 (Paradise Interchange to Athelstone). The nearest bus stop is Stop 36 on Quondong Avenue.

Owner: Department for Environment and Water.

Property summary: Total area 758 hectares. Hundred of Adelaide – Sections 304-306, 1209, 2035, Allotment 1 (Deposited Plan 35274), Allotment 1 (Deposited Plan 35276), Allotment 1 (Deposited Plan 35276), Allotments 1 and 2 (Deposited Plan 54141). Allotments 6 (Filed Plan 107799) and 91 (Filed Plan 171413) were added on 19 December 2017.

Landscape Management Region: Hills and Fleurieu

History: Black Hill Conservation Park was first proclaimed on 27 April 1972 (although a 4 ha Government reserve had been proclaimed as early as 1860). It also includes the extended Athelstone Native Wildflower Garden. The Wildflower Garden was first developed in the late 1940s by FC Payne on his property at the top of Addison Avenue, Black Hill. Originally known as Payne’s Nursery, the garden was open to the public for them to enjoy the diverse array of Australian plants. The nursery was purchased by the City of Campbelltown in 1963 and later sold to the State Government in 1974. In 1976 following an outbreak of  the fungal disease Phytophthora cinnamoni in the nursery the garden and nursery were closed. A new native plant nursery on Maryvale Road was opened in 1979.

Habitat: The higher slopes support a low woodland of Pink Gum (Eucalyptus fasciculosa), Brown Stringybark (E. baxteri) and Messmate Stringybark (E. obliqua) over a closed shrubland of heath plants. On the western slopes of Black Hill, where there is a history of intense fires, this association is replaced by a tall closed shrubland dominated by Slaty Sheoak (Allocasuarina muelleriana) and at the lower edges of these slopes, a low woodland of Peppermint Box (E. odorata) and South Australian Blue Gum (E. leucoxylon) displaces the shrubland. On the higher slopes in the east Bracken (Pteridium esculentum) is found. Very steep and rocky slopes above Montacute and Gorge roads and in Fourth Creek gorge support a very low woodland dominated by Drooping Sheaoak (Allocasuarina verticillata) and Rock Grass-tree (Xanthorrhoea quadrangulata) over various shrubs and grasses.

More information: DEW Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Conservation Parks

Total Species Recorded to Date: 72 (non-passerines 26, passerines 46)

Common Species: Adelaide Rosella, White-throated Treecreeper, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Weebill, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Striated Pardalote, Australian Magpie,

Less Common Species: Painted Buttonquail, Tawny Frogmouth, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren

Updated: 9/01/2022

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